Humpback whales migrate from Antarctica to tropical waters of Tahiti for calving. They swim thousands of miles in a short time- often as little as 36 days. In Tahiti the waters are deep enough to calve, but shallow enough that no predators can get above their babies to force them to the depths and drown them. The females eat when in the nutrient rich waters of the antarctic and fast in the tropics. They nurse their babies and ween them with them for 8 – 10 months.
In Tahiti the whale watches are strictly regulated. Only a certified pilot can pilot the boat (ours was a merchant marine who is in Tahiti for this reason only) and our guide, who lead us snorkeling with the whales, is also certified and in Tahiti for this purpose.
No one is allowed to scuba with the whales nor are they allowed to swim with them when the calves are new. The whales are in Tahiti from late August to November, depending on